Men’s soccer remains undefeated as team enters conference play

The W&L men’s soccer team played its sixth game of the season on Saturday and remains confident in its abilities going into ODAC play next weekend

Ben Soullier

Coming off an impressive 7-0 victory over Southern Virginia University, the Washington and Lee men’s soccer team headed into Saturday with a great deal of momentum and confidence.

This confidence stems from the team’s ability to score goals in a variety of ways. The Generals have 13 different goal scorers for their season’s total of 14 goals.

Defensive midfielder Will Rowson, ’19, explained the reason for this early offensive success.

“I know it sounds kind of obvious, but we play a lot of different players and we have a lot of depth on this team. Everyone on the team has touched the field so far this year and that’s pretty incredible.”

Coach Michael Singleton credits this as a huge reason for the Generals’ early success as well.

“That shows that we are really a true team, with everybody stepping up when they can and it makes it much harder for teams to strategize against us when they see that so many different players can attack the goal.”

The ability for so many players to score goals takes their offense to a much higher level.

Heading into the game against Capital on Sept. 16, the team was extremely focused and continued to work hard at practice to prepare for a tough defensive opponent.

Captain Jack Miller, ’19, stressed how important it was to keep everyone focused and ready for the test ahead of them.

“I try to be a role model for the team and I try to keep myself and others disciplined and focused heading into this game.”

Miller has a unique role for the team not only as captain, but also as the team’s center back. He has the responsibility of communicating with everyone in front of him and making sure everyone on the team is in the right position.

However, for this game, and moving forward with the season, Coach Singleton hopes the experience of all of his players will show through on the field.

“In years prior, we’ve always been one of the younger teams. I don’t think that is the case anymore. Most of these guys have been to the NCAA Tournament in the past two years and most of them have won the conference tournament as well. Some of the trials of the past and some of the

mistakes we’ve made, I think we’re savvy enough not to retrace the past.”

On Saturday when the team finally took the field, they were more than ready. The Generals headed into the match with an undefeated record, having four wins and one tie. Furthermore, in the latest NCAA men’s soccer rankings, the Generals posted an impressive rank of 9th in Division III.

They more than lived up to expectations, beating Capital by a score of 4-0. With goals from Captain Kevin Molnar, ’18, Ted Hurst, ’18, Dylan Ritch, ’19, and Danny Tran, ’21, and an impressive shutout pitched by Gillen Beck, ’18, and the Generals defense, this team seemed to cruise to victory.

Rowson broke down why the team was so successful.

“Capital played extremely defensively, not only with a 5-defender formation, but also tactically; they gave us a lot of space to play offensively and tried to counter,” he said. “We were very prepared as a team for this and we found success by keeping possession and playing quickly from side to side across the field. By playing this way, we exhausted Capital and they really couldn’t stick with us. We ended up running them into the ground and scoring three late goals.”

Rowson went on to say, “I think overall the team was really happy with the result today. We really did dominate most of the second half and ended up with a 4-0 win. What’s great about our team, though, is that we look at this win and know that it’s a good result, but we also know we can be better and that we need to be better, so we’ll take a lot out of this game moving forward.”

The Generals are gaining more and more confidence each week and remain undefeated. Both Miller and Rowson expressed the team’s desire to not only win the ODAC Championship, but also to make a run at a national title.